Established 75 years ago, the CFA Institute (“CFAI”) is a global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. There are more than 180,000 CFA® charterholders spanning over 160 countries worldwide. 

Although late to the game, CFAI released The DEI Code this year, a comprehensive voluntary Code aiming to foster commitment from institutions to DEI action. This commitment will lead to greater inclusion of broader viewpoints from the best talent, ultimately leading to better investment outcomes, helping create better working environments, and generating a cycle of positive change for future generations. The DEI Code was created by a highly diverse working group comprised of investment professionals, CFAI members, and DEI practitioners via multiple iterations, including outside feedback on draft versions. 

Outlined below are the core principles of The DEI Code, which will drive greater diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in a meaningful and measurable way:


1) Pipeline
– Raise awareness primarily among the following groups:

  • Students prior to college, catering to low-income student bodies
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

– Sustained, systematic effort is the only avenue for real change

2) Talent Acquisition
– Anti-bias and cultural competency training for hiring managers, interviewers, and recruiters
– Combat the misperception that finding underrepresented candidates means lowering criteria

3) Promotion and Retention
– Ensure mentorships, sponsorships, new opportunities, and appraisal processes are equitable

4) Leadership
– To drive progress, leadership must be diverse, inclusive, accountable to stakeholders, and trained to manage and lead diverse teams at all leadership levels within the organization.
– Robust leadership development processes (e.g., understanding root causes of inequities, improving skills, and changing behavior around DEI)

5) Influence
– Motivate others in the industry to also adopt the Principles of this Code
– Regularly review all partners with respect to DEI

6) Measurement
– Provide regular reporting on DEI to leadership and CFAI
– Incorporate individual self-identification in data collection
– Complete Reporting Framework annually
– No finish line, rather an iterative, continuous improvement process that requires commitment from all

There is no cost associated with adopting The DEI Code. Any U.S. or Canadian organization may choose to become a signatory of The DEI Code. CFAI will hold those parties accountable through required annual progress report submissions and associated discussions surrounding progress achieved. As of September 7, 2022, there were 49 signatories of The DEI Code.